Help germinating ephedra sinca

seansteezyMay 18, 2013

I can't really find any thing on google about germinating them. I've been trying to start them in peat pellets like my other plants but they just don't want to germinate. I've read somewhere they like loose sandy soil with good drainage but I'm not sure what size pot to put them in. So any info on growing them like what temp they like, pot size, ect. Will be very much appreciated. Thanks

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Growing conditions are not the problem until you are able to effect germination. You need to look into germination inhibitors and how to overcome them. This plant is not in my references except to say they are often started from divisions. Al

    Bookmark   May 22, 2013 at 10:27AM
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Ok I looked up germination inhibitors for E.sinica and most said water soaking and gibbereliic acid was the way to go because these are some stubborn seeds. So I ordered up some GA and they are soaking now in a warm water solution that is 200mL and 150ppm GA. It will be soaking for the next 12 h. I was wondering if anyone has any experience with this because the paper that came with the GA says not to soak seeds for more than 12h but the page on E.sinica inhibitors says to soak for 2 days at 150 ppm. So any help would be appreciated.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2013 at 12:43AM
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Hi, new here-- I posted but it is lost or late?

Anyhow I have instructions for Ephedra sinensis from Horizon Herbs where my husband bought his.
I didn't start them yet but will be interested in this thread.

According to Horizon, you don't soak them. You put them in well drained soil (Cactus Mix) and full sun and water only once daily.

Says they germinate in 1-3 weeks.

Then transplant to very fast draining soil and provide a 4 inch mulch of coarse, sharp sand or pumice.

I do not know if Horizon grows their own & is familiar with starting these--but they have a website. perhaps if you don't find them germinating you can call and ask?

    Bookmark   May 27, 2013 at 8:56AM
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I also bought my seeds from horizon. And am down to my last 25 seeds. I soaked them for 24 hours in gibberellic acid it is a natural growth hormone that helps increase germination and break dormancy. I planted my first 25 In fast well draining soil in direct sunlight about a month ago and nothing has popped up. So I went with GA soaking and a small pot that has high humidity. They have been planted for about three days now so hoping I get at least one to pop. Good luck with yours, keep me posted with your grow:)

    Bookmark   May 28, 2013 at 5:42PM
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Hmm.. that doesn't sound encouraging. :) I've had these seeds about a year, didn't plant them. We also bought some plants which have barely grown--hope this all turns out OK in the end. If I were you though- I'd see about getting some replacement seeds-- I mean if you follow their directions and they don't germinate-- hopefully they stand behind that.
Best of luck--I'm gonna hold off planting mine til I hear what happens to yours.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2013 at 8:01PM
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Ok haha I'll keep you posted, but I will probably get some replacement seeds if they don't pop in the next few weeks. Hopefully I can get some relatively fresh seeds:)

    Bookmark   May 29, 2013 at 12:31AM
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From roughly 30 seeds I got one little Ephedra plant by normal sowing into the same soil I sprouted tomatoes and peppers (garden soil + some peat + sand + perlite), over a heating mat.

From what I've heard stratification vastly improves germination rates (so stick them 3 weeks in the fridge). Also scarification and soaking might help (use a jar lined on the inside with some sandpaper and tumble them for a while in that), then soak them for 12h.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2013 at 7:05AM
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I am probably going to try the stratification and scarification now but I'm out of seeds my last 25 have been in soil for a week now and I haven't really seen any sign of germination. I am probably going to buy more seeds but was wondering where, I bought my last ones from horizon but I'm not sure how fresh they were. So if any one knows where to get some fresh and viable seeds it would be very much appreciated.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2013 at 6:44PM
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Kind of surprised that people are having difficulty germinating these, then again we all have different climates and variables acting on seeds... If you are needing to use GA3 or stratify seeds for any results though, you need to find a new seed source. Of the few different Ephedra species I've got, none took more than a week and a half to sprout. Though in my expirence cold stratification definitely pushed the success rate up, it still is nearly 80% for purchased/directly down seeds without any special treatment. Just keep humidity high until sprouts are visible, don't over-water, and make sure the growing medium is highly porous. (So don't use store-bought soil more or less, and get a decent amount of course sand or perlite)

    Bookmark   March 9, 2014 at 12:54AM
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Hi.. what is your seed source? Seems most of the folks here have been using Horizon Herbs.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2014 at 9:53AM
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I'll probably get scoffed at this, but the most recent seeds I got were E. sinica off of eBay... May be a sketchy source in general, but the seller I got those from sent some very fresh seeds and I don't have an exact number, but there were nearly 20 seeds (bought only 10!) and most germinated. He is based out of Texas, and the listing was like 'e. sinica ma-huang seeds (no ephedrine)', or something like that. Shouldn't be hard to find. Other than those, the other seeds and plants were from semi-local growers and nurseries in N. CA

    Bookmark   March 10, 2014 at 2:01PM
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No scoffing from me. I used to sell my woodland plants on ebay-and they were legit--so why wouldn't someone else be?
thank you!

    Bookmark   March 10, 2014 at 2:12PM
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